“Truth and Justice For All” contains over 1,000 posts. Many of them contain important information, but some of it is very topical and perhaps of limited current interest. I’ve posted on a few subjects, however, that have more enduring significance. This page provides an index to that material.
The War on Photography
Posts regarding photographers’ civil liberties when photographing in public:
I think it was this post that got me started: More British Justifiable Outrage Department. This was in Britain, which has had a long history of egregious police-photographer confrontations, but I soon turned my attention to the U.S.
Then, deciding I needed to pursue the matter at greater depth, I wrote “Why Should You Care.”
On December 16, 2009, I got into more substance with an in-depth analysis of Shawn Nee’s confrontation with LA deputy sheriffs, in “An Outrage Updated,” which Shawn himself highlighted as thorough and reasonable. This set out for the first time several legal elements of the photographer-law enforcement office confrontation. The post received some coverage on other “war on photography” blogs.
The next day I asked, “Why do photographers insist on grandstanding when confronted by LEOs?”, in which I offered some advice to photographers involved in a confrontation.
Then on 12/19 I wrote the first of a series: “The Curious (Il-)Logic of Authoritarian Intrusion on Photography,” the first installment of which discussed the question of detention, lawful and unlawful.
Part II followed on December 23, discussing the issue of photographers identifying themselves to police when confronted.
On January 4, 2010, I published my “Conversation with an American Cop,” which turned out to be both thought-provoking and controversial.
On January 6 appeared three related, substantive analyses of rejoinders heard on this subject:
- Identifying myself to police is my contribution to the War on Terror
- If we push this insistence on standing up for our civil liberties, they will pass laws forbidding photography
- If I piss off the cops, they won’t be there when someone breaks into my home
Then a week later I returned with a discussion of one of my favorite potential photographers’ tools in this ongoing war, “Coercion, a Street Photographer’s Weapon.”
On March 3 reference to a very significant academic consideration of the subject, Pervasive Image Capture and the First Amendment: Memory, Discourse, and the Right to Record.
Beginning August 1, 2010: A series of three posts dealing with intimidation and possible criminal action against photographers by what I call quasi-public entities, of which municipal transit authorities are the most prominent examples:
- Quasi-Public Entities and the War on Photography
- Metropolitan Transit Rules Regarding Photography
- “May It Please The Court”
On August 7 I updated “Conversation with an American Cop” with recent developments from NYC
Two days later came a list of War on Photography incidents and developments dating back to mid-June in Updates from the War on Photography.
The federal government concedes no law prohibits photography of U.S. courthouses. Language of the settlement with the NYCLU should easily extend to all federal facilities visible from public spaces.
In other posts not mentioned here I have passed along additional resources and anecdotal accounts of incidents between photographers and authorities at various levels. Use the “War on Photography” category or search the blog for “war on photography” to see most of them.
18 U.S.C. §2257 is widely known among photographers of the nude. It has potential to be the greatest bane for all of us and for continued pursuit of our art. To summarize, the criminal statute (together with the more recently added §2257A) requires extensive record-keeping and notice publication for photographs of certain nude or erotic subjects. It is not limited to photographs of what we would call pornographic sexual conduct. I provide links below to some of my more significant posts, but some of what is said in those posts is now outdated, and my book — A Photographer’s Guide to Section 2257 — and its updates provide the only reliable, current information regarding these important criminal provisions. (If you photograph artistic nudes and don’t yet know about Section 2257, where have you been keeping yourself? But then perhaps you are reading this because of the extensive discussion in Carrie Leigh’s NUDE that began with these writings, progressed to my book, to friend Dave Levingston‘s concerns, and finally to the lawsuit currently underway.)
Here are the more significant posts:
- An initial post introducing people to 2257 via Extracts from CONNECTION DISTRIBUTING CO. et al. v. PETER D. KEISLER, with some analysis. The decision was later undone in an en banc decision.
- An extended entry styled in the form of FAQs regarding 2257. These were initial impressions regarding 2257 and many have now been superseded by my book and its updates. I include the post here because the questions are definitely relevant, but some of the answers are no longer the best information on the subject.
- Link to an article about the 6th Circuit en banc decision upholding 2257.
- Questions regarding 2257 and copyright, simulated vs. actual conduct, and masturbation.
- Discussion of what I designated the “copy conundrum” — this question has since been resolved and is discussed in one of the book updates.
- Concept of the “reasonable viewer” when considering photos that might be subject to 2257.
- A post on models’ liability under 2257.
- Consideration of a number of questions raised by a friend and model:
If FBI agents come and confiscate a photographer’s computer and records, which it seems it is its right to do, what happens to those records? If the model is over 18 yet reasonable people decide the photo shows her masturbating, can she and the photographer be prosecuted for that?
If this is just a matter of obtaining records, including copies of drivers licenses and passports and the real name and all aliases, of women who model nude, then what else could be done with these records in the future?
- Comment on the aphorism: “[2257 is] not saying we can’t speak; it’s just regulating the construction of our soapboxes.”
- A 2257 “Catch 22.”
- 2257 inspections as “fishing expeditions.”
- Art shows and 2257.
- Collections of images and 2257.
- Commentary regarding those who think 2257 does not apply to photography outside of the porn industry:
[A] photographer messaged me on MM a couple days ago, curious about my 2257 statement in my profile. He said 2257 was for the porn and entertainment industry, not for us. I suggested he read your book and gave him the link.
I still have photographers arguing with me that 2257 does not apply to us. One says 2257 always existed and contends nothing has changed.
- How sites like deviantART misunderstand 2257.
I’ve written other things of 2257, and if you use the search feature with “2257″ you’ll find them all. In the end, however, nothing of what I’ve written on this blog approaches the comprehensiveness, rigorous analysis, and tips for photographers to be found in the book and its updates.
I’ve occasionally written about the general subject of street photography — and especially ethical considerations relating thereto — in respects other than the “War on Photography” postings to which I’ve linked above. Those posts are:
- An initial post regarding a specific photograph.
- A second post regarding another specific photograph.
- A third post addressing photographing children.
- Fourth among the initial posts, this time dealing with the “grab shot.”
- Returning to the subject nearly three years later, I began with an examination of what I called the “telephoto lens fallacy.”
- Then came the question whether photography can constitute harassment.
- I proposed that much photojournalism is just a form of street photography.
- A slight digression, where I posited that “Diane Arbus Was Not a Street Photographer.”
- A much more rigorous consideration of the subject.
- Discussing some comments made on the post noted just above.
In other respects, my subjects have been all over the map (although frequently dealing with civil liberties, the intersection of religion and politics, and absurdities of existence in today’s world), so I encourage you to either read back through them seriatim or search on terms or phrases of interest. Check the “Street Photography” category to see other entries.